The pace in After You is deceptive: it feels like it gets off to a slow start, but it’s actually just a perfect reflection of Louisa’s state of mind.
Lou is at a crossroads. She struggles to move on from the events of Me Before You and virtually wallows in stasis, becoming a dull witness to her own life. But as she begins to find reasons to go on, to live her life, the pace picks up; and by the time we reach the climax the pace is so fast, so gripping, I can’t stop. Even when my mental image wasn’t quite tying up with what I was reading (darn me reading too fast!) I still couldn’t stop.
And Moyes’s skill doesn’t stop there: like the cleverly written horoscope that everyone thinks sums up their own life perfectly, Moyes makes me think the story is about my life. A coincidence here, a parallel there, and I’m suddenly completely emotionally invested.
A beautiful story, simply told, and heartfelt – an amazing accomplishment after such a powerful first instalment.